28 Jun 2019 – 1 Dec 2019

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

Timed tickets are available online and we highly recommend checking reservation availability in advance of your visit.

Save Event: Donna Huanca: OBSIDIAN LADDER3

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Donna Huanca's OBSIDIAN LADDER triggers the senses through painting, sculpture, sound, scent, and performance.


This new topography, which is strikingly different from the rest of the building, transports visitors to another world — a femme realm of reconciliation, creation and trust. This gesture fractures the museum's site as a former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple that was built by and for men.

Every Saturday, painted femme models inhabit Huanca's environment. Their movements through the space are self-determined, not bound to any direction from Huanca. She says, “These individuals are essential to the empowering process of reclaiming this space. My work has always been a poetic gesture commenting on societal imbalances and injustices. As I have had more opportunities to exhibit publicly, in different contexts globally, my work has evolved to directly confront patriarchal realities, power dynamics, and hierarchies of contemporary life. ”

Huanca's use of natural materials, such as raw pigments, oils, turmeric, sand, and clay, is essential to her developing an other-worldly environment. In her skin paintings —a term that refers to both the painted live models and the hanging canvases — she layers these materials with fragments of paint, latex, and other skin-like substances. This material link between the works, including the painted humans that navigate her sculptural landscapes, creates a tactile ecosystem.

In its willingness to engage femininity intuitively, the work stands as a challenge to the exhibitionism and objectification that pervade contemporary American life. OBSIDIAN LADDER  invites us to connect to a powerful feminine essence that is inherent to nature and creation.


Olivia Marciano

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Donna Huanca


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